Nighttime Acid Reflux is a sufferer’s worst nightmare (pun intended), it is very painful and hits you by surprise and can awaken you suddenly. Most American’s diet is heavy fatty foods, to make it worse many people tend to over eat. This kind of a meal puts stress on the digestive system when it needs gravity to keep things moving. Sometimes it is so bad that people are afraid to go to sleep because they already know what will happen.
Adding insult to injury, eating a heavy meal makes you tired and will have the urge to lay down and want to go to sleep. This is like a worst case scenario for your digestive track. You are full; you lay down, and vitiate the effect of gravity so instead of food going down it wants to go up with all the Acid and bile. The food shoots up into your esophagus, throat, mouth, lungs, and sinuses and damages everything it touches. It can damage, your lungs causing asthma, throat causing a sore painful throat, and it can even damage your teeth – who would have thought?
What can you do? If chronic, see your doctor. In the mean time eat small meals throughout the day and make sure you don’t go to bed to close to eating – it is recommended to wait 2 – 3 hours. A game changer for me was lifting the head of my bed with a Reflux Guard.
If acid and stomach content does shoot up it can cause you to have severe pain, this is what I have done to lessen the severity of the attack. I get up and try to remain in a sitting or standing position till the attack subsides. I would take two Gaviscon because it is touted to set up a barrier between the stomach and esophagus. I then sip cold water, and when I cough anything up I spit it out in a cup. This little ritual has helped shorten and lessen my attacks.
It is important to note by spitting up anything that comes up you keep it from re-injuring the esophagus when going down as well as emptying the stomach relieving pressure on the sphincter, which is meant to keep stomach content in the stomach.
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